About 100 people gathered in front of Gainesville City Hall on Friday evening to protest the conditions in immigration detention centers. The protest, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, was one of more than 500 around the world. It was organized by North Central Florida Indivisible and other local activist groups and featured several speakers who urged the crowd to help the undocumented community in Gainesville and call members of the U.S. Congress to demand the camps be closed down, including the center located in Homestead, Florida. The event also had local children recite poems that were left behind by children in Theresienstadt, a ghetto and concentration camp built by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
On Monday, protestors from Fight Toxic Prisons, the Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Hub, Gainesville Industrial Workers of the World and MAMA’s Club aimed to fundraise bail for dads to be released in time for Father's Day. On Wednesday, Bell finally came home.
The 352 Father’s Day and Juneteenth Bailout and Rally was held outside the Alachua County Jail on Monday. The event was hosted by Fight Toxic Prisons, the Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Hub, Gainesville Industrial Workers of the World and MAMA’s Club. The event aimed to raise money through a crowdfunding effort so fathers could be released on bail to be with their families after Father’s Day. $7,720 was raised out of a $20,000 crowdfunding goal on DonorBox. With this money, the $7,000 bail for Gerald Bell, who is imprisoned for drug-related charges, is planned to be posted today. Protesters held signs containing messages like “Abolish Slavery” and “Prisons Equal Slavery.” Alachua County Sheriff’s Officers prevented protesters from moving close to the jail and four protesters were detained after either passing a line of cones placed by the officers or attempting to remove these cones.
Does weather impact UF student fashion choices?
Alachua County Animal Services, Humane Society of North Central Florida north and south campuses and PetSmart hosted the 5th Annual North Florida Pet Adoption Days Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of rescued dogs and cats were brought into these organizations with adoption fees waived. Margot DeConna, Humane Society of North Central Florida director of development, said the initial goal of the adoption event was to get 400 pets adopted. A total of 344 pets were adopted from the event community-wide. DeConna said the rain on Sunday may have been a factor that affected the original goal.
The Galleries at the Historic Thomas Center celebrated the opening of a new art exhibition entitled “A Walk in the Park” on Friday night. The show features local artists whose work aims to encourage the appreciation of local parks in the community. The gallery’s opening reception was part of May’s Artwalk Gainesville event. “A Walk in the Park” will be on display until Jan. 4, 2020. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the citizens and city employees behind the yearlong “Gainesville 150!” celebration, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the City of Gainesville’s incorporation.
The Memorial Day Ceremony 2019 was held at Forest Meadows Memorial Park East on Monday. The event featured a presentation of the colors by the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Milton Lewis Young Marines. Remarks were made by Mayor Lauren Poe and Congressman Ted Yoho, the United States Representative for Florida’s 3rd congressional district. Alachua County Gold Star Families, which are families of soldiers killed in action, were also honored. Additionally, on Northwest 8th Avenue, the Gainesville chapter of Veterans For Peace placed one tombstone for each U.S. service member who lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 for the Memorial Mile 2019 event.
Gainesville currently has an ordinance that prohibits panhandling, but it is not enforceable due to free speech. The laws might change soon after a panhandler was struck and killed in April. Gainesville city commissioners have said the new ordinance won’t incriminate panhandlers but intends rather to limit where the activity is allowed in order to keep them safe and avoid another fatal accident. Some Gainesville residents, like William Irmen, a 54-year-old homeless man, rely on panhandling in these spots for consistent income.